Over 20 years ago, I enrolled two of my teenagers in therapeutic boarding schools. I personally witnessed the positive transformation of my own children and I have had a fervent desire ever since to help other families with challenging and troubled teens get the help and support they desperately need.
Twenty years ago, I was thriving in a successful career as a senior manager with a financial services company. I worked hard and did my best to provide a strong, values-based home for my family.
Everything seemed to be going well when my oldest daughter began struggling to find her place in life. She started making poor choices in friends, becoming defiant, smoking weed, failing in school, disrespecting authority, and shutting down emotionally. I was scared and could feel the dark direction she was taking, and I had no idea what to do.
I became committed to finding help for my daughter in whatever way I could. I tried so many things. We started with family therapy. We sought spiritual support. We changed schools and found a new therapist. We tried new medications and negotiating and renegotiating agreements within the home.
I finally had to realize that NOTHING was working for our family, and in fact, my daughter was out of control, meaning that things were getting much worse. I was getting desperate. While sitting at our doctor’s office one day, I noticed an ad in the back of Sunset magazine for Therapeutic Boarding Schools. It was a tiny ad, but it spoke very loudly to me. I had a glimmer of hope that this could be my answer.
After many agonizing and emotional phone calls with the school staff and the intervention team, I made the heartbreaking decision to enroll my daughter in a therapeutic boarding school. I found the right school that was a good fit for our situation.
Deciding to send my daughter away to a therapeutic teen program was by far the most difficult decision I have ever had to make. I was sick with grief and fear, but deep inside, I knew this was the best way to save my daughter from her self-destructive behavior.
A few months into her therapeutic program, I faced the same decision for my son. He was making the same poor choices as his sister; unhealthy friends, failing grades, defiant, angry, zero respect, smoking weed, etc. This time I did not waste any time. I knew what I had to do. I made the same decision for him and enrolled my son in a therapeutic boarding school.
This time, I called the therapeutic program and set up the intervention. Within two days, my son was on his way to a residential therapeutic program.
Sending my son away to a program broke my heart into a thousand pieces again, but I knew this was the right decision to save him as well. It was different then, schools were far away, and family visits were rare. I invested every dollar I had into these programs, and traveling was not an option. I desperately waited for their letters and phone calls.
Eventually, I began to see a change in both of them. My teenage children became open and honest in their letters to me. They became accountable for their past bad behavior and expressed gratitude for my decision to send them away. My kids were finally getting the help they needed in a very profound and powerful way. They were healing.
I clearly understood that my teenage son and daughter’s issues were a family challenge. To heal fully, we needed to do this together. I worked on myself as they worked on themselves…
As a single parent, sending my children away to therapeutic boarding school was not easy. I had the same fears and concerns as many of my clients today.
• How am I going to pay for it?
• Is this the right decision? The right program?
• Will she hate me forever?
• How will I get her to go?
• Am I a bad mom?
• How will it affect my other child?
I knew I had to make this difficult decision and show my children the leadership and courage to save their lives.
Ultimately, sending my son and daughter to residential therapy programs fostered the growth, learning, and reunification back to a whole and healthy family. Each has gone on to live their own lives in an authentic way to who they are. My life is full of love, respect, self-worth, goals, humor, and continued growth. I am so proud of the work my family has done…life is never perfect…but now it is healthy and whole. I am forever grateful for the whole (difficult) experience because it has brought us to where we are now…
I am a tenacious family advocate – an Independent Educational Consultant and Parenting Coach committed to creating peace, balance, healthy teen development and a loving home environment with each family I partner with.
I left a successful career as a senior manager with a financial services company, in order to fulfill my mission of serving families and children.
I firmly believe every child is innocent, powerful and worthy of the best life has to offer. I clearly see the opportunity for your family to enjoy a loving, and nurturing home environment even when you cannot.
My purpose is to be a valued resource by providing at-risk teen placement services and parenting strategies for troubled teens and coaching their families.
I am committed to helping you restore and maintain peace and balance in your family unit.
My guiding principles are honesty, integrity, adherence to professional ethics and standards, confidentiality and follow through.
If you read my story above and it felt familiar, I want you to know that there are no right or wrong answers, and there’s never judgment. For parents considering at-risk teen placement, I offer a complimentary consultation to discuss the right solution for your teenager. I help parents find placement in therapeutic boarding schools, teen wilderness programs, or residential treatment centers Every child is unique and needs a personalized program that will help them reclaim their future and help your family heal.
I also offer a discovery session for parents who are looking for better strategies to connect with their struggling teens.